Wednesday, 14 July 2010
Vive la [Wiff] France
It was also on this trip that we surprisingly found that with the Franc at 9.5 to the dollar we were able to purchase a full batterie de cuisine at Dehilerin and not have to go to jail for credit card fraud. Now after nearly 30 years they have finally been re-lined. Most of them had nickel or stainless steel linings and over the years more and more were being retired to the shed as I could not find anyone prepared to remove the remains of the old linings and re-do them.
Neil from At My Table suggested Carroll Electroplating in Brunswick and while we were in Turkey all the pots were re-lined and polished to a very shmicko standard. They do a great job re-lining them very thickly in tin so any repeats will be easy.
I know we are getting bombarded by truffle stories but Bastille Day perhaps gives a little extra dispensation to truffle matters. It is very heartening to learn that Chinese truffles have been put on the prohibited list of imports fresh into Australia since 2009. Tuber Sinesis [the Chinese Truffle] looks just like Tuber Melanospornum [Perigord Truffle] making it very hard to distinguish them from real thing except for the fact that they have hardly any flavour or scent. They are also less than $100 per kg and so could be very tempting to unscrupulous dealers. I can remember carpetbaggers targeting expensive restaurants over the years with very expensive black golf balls and eating also a lot of dodgy dishes. In those days not many chefs had been exposed to the real thing and substitution was rife . Many hundreds of kilos of Chinese truffle is still exported to Britain each year but surprisingly none seem to be sold? Its hard to get the figures from AQUIS as to how much has been imported to Australia in recent years but I suspect quite a bit.
The flavour of truffles seems to elude some and sadly restaurateurs not wishing to disappoint diners are still lacing perfectly good Perigord truffle with truffle oil. There is a difference between the flavour of truffle and its aroma. Just as with a lemon the aroma of the lemon oil in the rind and the flavour of the juice are quite different. Together they are the complex experience that is a lemon.
With truffles sometimes they have very little aroma but strong flavour and also some have a very good aroma but virtually no flavour. When buying truffle a good dealer will offer you a tiny shard for tasting as well as testing the aroma. But thankfully no more cheap Tuber Cinesis to devalue the experience.
Vive la difference ...
Photos at Truffle Farm by Richard Hoooper